Because Humor Doesn’t Come with a User’s Guide

The Humor Professionals

Explore the Practical and Therapeutic Benefits of Humor

You know what we’re talking about: laughter feels great! Sometimes moments of humor and laughter can almost feel like a magical, euphoric experience. At AATH, we study the science behind those experiences and how we can intentionally apply humor to make people’s lives better.


Did you know that humor’s innumerable health benefits include significant stress reduction, greater pain tolerance increased blood flow, and enhanced immune function? Plus, it has a wealth of other benefits, such as improved memory retention, enhanced trust, credibility, connection, and empathy. It even improves memory retention—did we already mention that one? ;)


If humor’s so amazing, shouldn’t we all be trying to work more of it into our lives? That’s where AATH comes in.


We enhance the health, well-being, and performance of people, organizations, and communities through humor.

About AATH & Highlights
from the 2019 Conference


Learn more about who we are and what we do—and check out some clips from our 2019 conference in Chicago!

Laughter Exercises for
Kidney Dialysis Patients


Our very own Teena Miller teamed up with Satellite Health to implement the nation’s first laughter therapy program for hemodialysis.

Fun fact: Teena’s a Humor Academy student, as well! 

TEDx Talk: Leading with Laughter: The Power of Humor in Leadership


AATH President Paul Osincup’s TEDx Talk explains why the best leaders don’t take themselves too seriously.

Be part of the humor revolution!


Did you know every time someone sponsors or donates to AATH, a child gets uncontrollable giggles? Ok, our researchers haven’t confirmed that yet, but we do bring kids a lot of smiles. From laughter exercises for refugee children in Nigeria to clown and improv performances in pediatric hospitals, our members bring the benefits of humor to kids, seniors, and those affected with adultitis. Bottom line: we help improve the lives of people of all ages, all over the world, through our services and classes. So when you sponsor or donate to AATH, you’re not only gaining a tax deduction (yep, we’re a nonprofit), you’re spreading humor on a truly global scale.


Or maybe you want to infuse your own life with more humor. Join AATH and become part of an inclusive community of professionals from a wide array of industries, learning from one another about using humor to positively influence health and human performance. Whether you suffer from chronic seriousness and want to develop more humor habits, or you want to help others experience the power of humor, AATH is the place for you. Laughter guaranteed.

A doctor, an engineer, and a comedian walk into a bar…

Chances are it was it was during one of our many evening events at our yearly conference. Besides the extracurricular mingling, the best thing about AATH is our multitude of backgrounds and professional experiences. We have members from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia! Six continents down, one to go. (If you’re a penguin from Antarctica, hit us up!) But there’s one thing we all have in common: we know without a doubt that #HumorHelps.

Humor as a Personal Wellness Strategy


Some of our members find AATH because they recognize humor as an integral part of their own healing process or personal journey. From cancer diagnoses to extreme anxiety—and even tragic losses—people find the strategies, humor, and support of the AATH community to be a catalyst to developing their own resilience.

The Professional Application of Humor


Much of our membership consists of professionals who use (or want to learn to use) humor in their work to achieve a positive outcome. We have counselors and psychotherapists using humor as a treatment modality. There are members who are motivational speakers and consultant trainers who focus on humor as a tool for increased performance and decreased stress. We also have nurses and doctors earning CEU and CME credits who use or oversee humor therapy in their hospitals. Certified laughter leaders and laughter yoga practitioners come to learn new techniques, as well as the latest neuroscience and psychological research about laughter. Business and nonprofit leaders looking for innovative ways to boost morale, increase their influence, or create dynamic teams also join AATH.

The Science of Humor


Our humor professionals couldn’t use evidence-based humor strategies without the evidence. This is where our researchers come in. An integral part of AATH is the research that gives credibility to comedy. We have member researchers from Harvard, Johns Hopkins University, Loma Linda University, UCLA, The American Institute of Stress, and many others. At our annual conference, researchers and scholars share their findings on how humor improves the human experience.

Lieutenant Commander Chip Lutz

United States Navy (Retired)

“As a professional speaker and trainer, AATH is the one conference I go to where I know I’ll leave with new strategies to share with my own audiences.”

AATH Leadership

Paul Osincup


Jennifer Keith


James B.
(Jim-Bob) Williams


Joyce Saltman


Gurinder Bains, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Beth Slazak

Past President

Nila Nielsen, CHP

Humor Academy Liaison/ Conference Chair

Elizabeth Catherine Usher, CLP

Director of Volunteers

Angie Robinson, MSW, CLYT

Director at Large

Mallori DeSalle, MA, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, MATS, CPS

Director of Membership

Katherine Puckett

Director of Fundraising

Debra Norwood

Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Kathy Velasco

Executive Director

Michele St.Clair

Managing Director

2019 AATH Award Recipients

Doug Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Don Baird

Notable Newbie Award

Mallori DeSalle

Doily Lama Leadership Award

Deb Price, RN, MSN

Humor Academy Making a Difference Award

Kathy Laurenhue, CHP

Book Award

Andrew Tarvin, “The United States of Laughter” and “Humor at Work”

Book Award

Don & Alleen Nilsen, “The Language of Humor”

Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

Olumbunmi Diala

Red Nose Award

Colleen Cooke, CHP

Heart and Soul Award

Nila Nielsen, CHP

Esther Hyatt Spirit of AATH Award

Cheryl Fell

Esther Hyatt Spirit of AATH Award

Katherine Puckett, CHP

The AATH Award winners have all demonstrated an ongoing commitment to—or have made a considerable contribution of knowledge to—AATH or the field of applied humor. As a volunteer nonprofit organization, we could not function without the dedication of humor professionals like these, so to say “Thank You,” we’ve posted their pictures on the Internet!


Congratulations to all of the 2019 AATH Award recipients! Take a screen shot, copy the link, and brag to your friends—you deserve it!

Thank You To Our Sponsors

We are a volunteer-driven, not-for profit (501c3) association, and we are serious about humor!

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©AATH | Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor

220 East State Street FL G Rockford, IL 61104

Phone: 815-708-6587 | Email:

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